When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie

Trip Start Aug 22, 2005
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35
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Trip End Oct 31, 2005


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Flag of Albania  ,
Sunday, October 16, 2005

.... that's Vlore.

Life on the Albanian Riviera is very pleasant indeed, and you wouldn't imagine that just a few years ago this place was the centre of the Albanian Mafia's operations. Actually, given the large number of high-rise hotels being built and relatively small number of tourists then these could potentially just be money laundering schemes. And the quantity of brand new Mercedes on the pot-holed streets could indicate some money coming into the area from somewhere. And lots of people looking like they should be in a Godfather movie, and the horses head we found in our bed the other morning. but other than that, you'd not have an inkling.

Talking of cars, there are many here, and many of them have a 'D' sticker on the back, indicating the country they were stolen... sorry, acquired from. But a couple of British Range Rovers and Jaguars driven by decidely un-British looking people have been seen by us too. They don't seem to go for the cheap cars, just Merc's, Audi's and VW's. We haven't seen any sign of the Rover 820 that Sarah used to own that was stolen from outside her sister's house in Manchester.

We have spent the last 3 days travelling with a german bloke called David, a student from Frankfurt, who is fluent in English, but sometimes has difficult comprehending Sarah. That makes 2 of us out of our small party of three. We went out for a beer the other evening and decided it would be nice to have a nightcap in our hotel, especially as the staff are friendly and we are the only guests. As we walked into the bar we noticed the staff were all in there, plastered. As we sat down with them, one of them took a shine to yours truly, hugtging and kissing me on the cheek and at one point even grabbing my thigh. Unfortunately I never managed to catch his name. None of them spoke English, so we communicated in a neutral language that we didn't speak either, Italian. A long-haied Mediterranean type was talking to us about his family in Florence over and over again, then he began to vomit on the floor, so we made our excuses and left.

Earlier in the day we'd been to the beach. Vlora is where the Adriatic and Ionic Seas meet, so I'm not sure which one we had a dip in. but, if the government would only take a little time and effort to clean up the beaches of the rubbish dumped on them then they would be fantastic. Environmental pollution doesn't seem to be taken seriously as an issue here, but maybe as a very poor nation they have other things to worry about.
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